"When they live by the labor of their hands, as our fathers and the apostles did, then they are really monks" (Rule of St. Benedict, chap. 48). The monks of St. Procopius Abbey work with their hands, as in this picture, but in their history they have also always been involved in other works that serve the Church and the world.
Monks in our monastery’s history have been educators, parish priests, missionaries, scholars, musicians, writers, and publishers. There have been farmers, carpenters, plumbers, and tailors. Some were dedicated to Church unity work between the Latin Rite and other Rites and some have promoted inter-religious dialogue.
The work that a monk may do can vary. Some of the jobs will be within the monastery. Some assignments will entail ministering to people outside the monastery walls. The abbot, as the superior of the monastery, makes the job appointments for the monks and he does so after consulting a monk, considering his abilities, and being mindful of the needs of the monastery and outside the monastery. Monks are asked to be generous in offering themselves for the work assigned to them. As St. Benedict recognized, there is a dignity in human work and one may glorify God in doing it (Rule of St. Benedict, chaps. 48, 57).
One of the ways in which monks minister to people outside the monastery is by having Oblates. Oblates of St. Benedict are Christians who associate themselves with a Benedictine community in order to enrich their Christian way of life. This spiritual affiliation is formalized through a promise made to live out the spiritual values reflected in the Rule of St. Benedict in so far as the individual's state in life permits.